26 September 2005

Light and pleasure in Cour Puget

PARIS - At last, a time to breathe and a time to recap. And in a beautiful courtyard like this, on a beautiful day.

How nostalgic it is to be retracing one's steps in the Louvre through the marvellous Italian collection of sculptures again. This time, I have also made it through the French sculptures. What a pleasure it is to see and admire sculpture. I don't think one can ever get tired of it. To see the luminosity of the marble, the statuesqueness of the arm in the air, the leg outstretched, the fluidity of the motion frozen in the second for eternity by the sculptor...

Marble. I like marble on sculptures best. It is as if the graceful flow of fabric is all the more accentuated by the heaviness of marble. And of course, that luminosity. Cupid and Psyche is in a class of its own when it comes to luminosity.

One has to admit that the Italian sculptures are still the most vivid of all. Their fluidity is simply unrivalled. The Greeks are detailed, but somehow too static. It is not their fault - I would imagine it takes that long for style to evolve and the Italians have the benefit of history. (Do we speak of the weight of history or the lightness of it? Does history inspire or does history constrain?)

Light, light, light. Incredible how much difference light makes to a place.

Sitting in the Puget courtyard amidst the light passing through the roofs of the Louvre. Pleasure, pleasure, pleasure.

Such are the small pleasures of life. To be surrounded by sculptures, to feel the air, the space interjected by the awe of their presence. Sculptures are born for big open spaces. Like this in Cour Puget and Cour Marly. Or like that in the jardin of Musee Rodin. How else to feel the magnitude?

It is no wonder that France should reserve these two courtyards for their French sculptures. What better way to showcase them? The sunlight streaming through the roof, the vast space between the trapezoidal roof and the top of the sculpture, birds flying, eyes intently looking up.

This moment. Priceless.

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